Promoted Panachaiki impress during superb Football League start
Panachaiki were only promoted to the Greek Football League for the 2017/2018 season, but the club from Patras are already impressing. After seven games, Panachaiki sit in second place and boast an eye-catching 16 points. AGONAsport takes a brief look at their superb start.
As a result of their recent 2:1 victory against OFI Crete, Panachaiki climbed to second spot in the Football League standings, just five points behind leaders Aris. No one expected Panachaiki to be one of the real contenders for promotion after coming up from the third division, however they are out to cause surprises. One of Greece’s oldest clubs having been founded 126 years ago in 1891, Panachaiki’s best achievements include reaching the Greek Cup semi-finals twice and competing in the 1973/1974 UEFA Cup. Nevertheless, being promoted to the Super League would surely top them all.
Coached by the clever Sokratis Ofrydopoulos, the Patras outfit have won five out of seven Football League matches, losing the one game against Aris along the way. Panachaiki responded perfectly to that defeat too, seeing off rivals Doxa Dramas and OFI in consecutive games. In all of their fixtures, Panachaiki have proven why they comfortably topped Group 3 of the Gamma Ethniki last season. Although they didn’t qualify for the Greek Cup playoffs, the team held Panathinaikos to a tight 1:1 draw at home, a game which they could have even won.
Panachaiki have two Football League fixtures remaining in 2017, with Panegialios and Apollon Pontou being their opponents. While Panegialios are struggling near the foot of the table, Apollon aren’t far behind in fifth place. If Panachaiki can rack up the full six points from those matches, people will surely have to take them seriously in the promotion chase.
When the season started, everyone expected Aris and OFI to cruise to the Super League. It appears as though Aris will run away with the league, but OFI are going to be pushed to the bitter end for a place among Greece’s elite. Time will tell if Panachaiki have enough in the tank to last the distance, but there are a few faces in Patras who believe that a huge shock could be around the corner at the end of the season.